For approval of the new defense spending has 123 deputies voted, 29 voted against and four abstained, reports Bloomberg with reference to the speaker of the National Assembly, Zecco Zecevo. According to her, Bulgaria is planning to buy eight or nine new or second-hand fighters, and order two new ships with delivery to 2021. Another eight aircraft may be purchased by 2023, says Bloomberg.
The decision of the Parliament will ensure the development of the defense potential of the country for the next 30 years, said the Deputy Minister of defence Nikolay Nencho. He stressed that the security situation in South-Eastern Europe have deteriorated, and Bulgaria should not look insecure. He added that the army is littered with old Soviet weapons and has no interoperability with NATO allies.
The leadership Alliance encourages its members to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP. Bulgaria, according to Bloomberg, plans to reach this target by 2024. It now spends on defense 1.35% of GDP.
The new fighters are to replace the MiG-29. Last summer Nencho said that nine of the 19 aircraft of this model in need of repair. Bulgaria also refused the Russian service of the MiG-29, signing a contract with Poland. “Bulgaria is the only NATO member that almost 90% dependent on Russia. I’m very concerned and I would not want to take it anymore”, — said on this occasion, the Minister of defense.
As a replacement for the MiG-29 Bulgaria is considering the Swedish Saab Gripen C/D, used Eurofighter Tranche 1 or F-16 MLU, writes Bloomberg. Sofia also held talks on the supply of ships with eight shipbuilding companies, including DCNS, the French and the Dutch Damen Shipyards Group. Bulgarian Navy wants to buy their multifunctional modular patrol ships, the newspaper “Novine”.